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Published:September 19th, 2008 08:13 EST
Media Is The Masses: Too much is not enough

Media Is The Masses: Too much is not enough

By Sean Stubblefield

In Harrison Bergeron, an insightful short story by Kurt Vonnegut also made into a decent movie, the government keeps people from thinking by broadcasting an intermittent signal to their brain, which disrupts their ability to think or focus clearly. This is done in a misguided, but well intended, effort to create strict egalitarianism by making everyone of the same mediocre intellect. This concept could be used as metaphor about our actual lives in the real world of prevalent electronic media which provides so many... too many... interruptions and distractions that prevent or inhibit us from thinking too much or too deeply. Cell phones, TV, internet, iPods, video games are a constant interference to thinking. And by thinking, I mean philosophical contemplation, meditation, introspection, imagination, and critical thinking.

 

How can we pursue and explore deep thoughts with cell phones blittering all around us at any moment, or mindless TV numbing our brains, and the amusements of the internets dazzling our senses to the point of diversion? We suffer from a kind of sensory overload. 

 

How could we ever relax enough to concentrate on profound and complex topics towards logical conclusions?  And that`s in addition to the distractions from practical concerns of survivability foisted on us by our dysfunctional economic system and mainstream status quo, which virtually coerces us into preoccupation of employment, consumerism, debt management and financial insecurity. We`re so busy chasing after things to buy in order to be "normal" and feed our addiction to money, that we have little or no time and energy to contemplate more than our navels. That`s assuming we aren`t too busy incapacitating our minds unto oblivion with our entertainment media. People of this kind of society are typically too concerned and fatigued with matters of the body to be involved with matters of the mind. During a 3 day power outage, it became clear just how inundated and cluttered we are with the detritus of daily living through electronic media. With no lights, TV, radio and internet... reality became a different construct, redefined with an alternate gestalt. Our electronic media changes our world--- our approach to and perception of our world--- so drastically and fundamentally. To a greater extent than most people seem to realize; we take it for granted that the flick of a switch will bring light. We`ve become so immersed in and dependent on this media that our lifestyles are dictated by it.

 

Indeed, it operates as a lifestyle, instead of merely media... buffering between us and our true selves.

 

If I can be so unforgiving of people`s failings, it is because I desire and demand better behavior and ethics from them. It is because I love humanity and its potential, that I am inclined to not easily forgive them for not being as better as they could. As they have it within themselves to be. Those who want a better quality of life tend to defy the inequity of our status quo, because that status quo is antithetical.